SWAN Newsletter #65

February 1, 2012


Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Recreation Planning P&R Department director Brian Luetchford reviewed with the committee parts of the existing Lower Paxton Township Comprehensive Plan, the Parks and Recreation Plan and the Greenway Plan that relate to many of the aspects of parks and recreation facilities in the township. The comp plan was last updated in 2002, and while a formal update is probably some years away, he thought it was important for the board to review what it currently says and what areas in the plan that would need to be revised.

Of particular concern in park planning is the need to acquire additional acreage for new parks to provide recreation space for the new residents in the township in the decades to come. Guidelines from the National Recreation and Park Association suggest that based on the 2010 population the township should have a minimum of 296 acres of active parkland, 30% above the existing 201 acres it now has. Future development of the Wolfersberger tract would bring it close to the minimum acreage suggested. The recommended figures of course will grow over the years as the population increases. The revised requirements for donation of land by developers will help somewhat.

Committee Vacancies A vacancy exists on the Arts Council and potentially there will be one on the Greenway Committee. Applications for the one on the Arts Council will be considered at the next board meeting.

Koons Pool The township is working with the pool officers toward resolving the pool water backwash issue that has caused DEP to issue a violation notice. Work is underway to find where a connection can be made to a sewer line and it is hoped that the township sewer department personnel can make the connection. Assurance was given that the pool will open as planned.

Baseball Fields A representative of the baseball organization that uses the fields at Brightbill Park requested board approval for four improvement projects he wishes to undertake at the park. They would be entirely funded by the organization. The improvements would be: 1) The replacement of the existing batting cage held up by metal pipes with a sturdier double cage supported by 6×6 wood posts. The board approved this project. 2) The enclosure of the existing dugout with concrete blocks similar to the concession stand. The board approved this project. 3) The construction of a storage shed covered with wood siding. The board approved this project with the condition that the shed be constructed with concrete block. 4) The construction of a second story on the existing concession stand for a press box. The board withheld approval of this project pending receipt of more detailed information than just the sketch that was submitted.

February 6, 2012


Attended and reported by Watson Fisher

Committee Reorganization At the direction of the Board of Supervisors the committee has been reorganized and reduced in size. It will now consist of Public Safety Director David Johnson as chairman and include the chiefs and presidents of the three fire companies, a representative from the emergency medical service, the fire marshal, the building inspector and the building code enforcement officer. The committee will meet the first Monday of February, May, August and November with additional meetings called on an as need basis.

Resolution 2012-04 This resolution provides for the committee to serve in an advisory capacity and make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors regarding the activities of the police and fire departments and the emergency medical service company. The resolution identifies eight specific items that the committee needs to address. They are a Mission Statement, Goals and Objectives, Review of the Fire Equipment Capital Plan, Review of the LOSAP (Length of Service Awards Program), Review of Operating Budgets for the three fire companies and the other public safety organizations, Review Call Box Assignments, Review Primary Response Territory, and review and approve all Subdivision and Land Development Plans.

Truss Marking Ordinance A subcommittee has been studying the possibility of enacting an ordinance requiring builders to identify on the exterior of new wood frame buildings the type of roof construction in order for firefighters to quickly evaluate the potential hazard they would face in entering the burning structure. The subcommittee recognized after working with the township solicitor that there were serious legal concerns and while they felt it was a worthwhile effort they agreed to take the item off the table. They hoped the issue will be raised at some point at the state level.

Pre-emption Device Some problems have existed with the emergency traffic control system along Route 22. All the devices were checked and several were not working. It is thought that the problem has been corrected.

Emergency Operations Center The committee reported that the center is in need of upgrading and that they intend to write a grant request to the state for funds to accomplish this.

Next Meeting Several of the fire chiefs have had preliminary discussions with the supervisors about the advantages of leasing fire equipment instead of purchasing it. At the next committee meeting they plan to finalize their recommendation and schedule a date to present it at an upcoming supervisors’ workshop session. The police department is now leasing patrol cars and the supervisors have indicated an interest in the fire companies doing the same. The main item at the next committee meeting will be to have the chiefs resolve the outstanding issue of the call box assignments among the three fire companies.

February 7, 2012


Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Election of Officers The meeting started without a quorum so the election of officers was postponed until the March meeting.

Howard Yerusalem Mr. Yerusalem, former state Secretary of Transportation, attended the meeting with two current officers of the department to advise the committee about the current situation regarding grant applications for funds for trail projects along state roads. They reviewed the township’s professionally created and very detailed Greenway Plan and indicated that that was an important planning tool and it indicated that the township was serious about improving walking and biking opportunities.

They said that when Penndot evaluates grant applications they look for projects that are well planned and can interface with projects in adjacent municipalities. They suggested that the township contact the Tri County Planning Commission to review their long range planning and to see how that interfaces with proposed projects that are in the four year Penndot plan and are on the list of Department of Conservation & Natural Resources planned projects. They also stressed that for applications to be successful they need to be for projects where the planning is done and matching funds are already allocated. The committee will contact Tri County and will stay in touch with the Penndot representatives.

Fundraising The committee had discussed how best to initiate fundraising for a variety of small projects, primarily trail development and improvements, where township funds are not currently available. Creating a single 501c3 organization for the groups under the Parks & Recreation department appears to be the best approach to avoid duplication and the P&R board will be pursuing that approach.

Promotion The committee will work on preparing an article with pictures for the east shore section of the newspaper showing work by volunteers on trail maintenance to coincide with Earth Day or Arbor Day.

Volunteers From time to time people have come forward singly or as a small group such as a scout troop to offer to help with park or trail maintenance. A running list of these individuals and groups will be made with email contacts and a notice of this effort will appear in the township’s newsletter.

Trails At next month’s meeting the committee will work to decide on a standard system of trail marking including the trail entrance signage. The trail blaze in the shape of a footprint has been chosen. On April 14th members of the committee will walk a portion of the Darlington Trail on top of the mountain from Hockers Park west to the Boyd Big Tree Conservation Area. They can determine whether to consider placing signage along this portion of the trail. In the future they may choose to try to walk a portion of the trail to the east of Hockers Park. The need to traverse sections of private property along this trail remains a problem.

February 7, 2012


(7:30 – 9:00 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Under Public Comment, several residents of the Earl Drive, Creek Road, and Harmon Drive area invited the Supervisors to tour the area to talk to the residents about the high water damage caused by the three 100+ year storms of 2011. The Supervisors indicated this would be done as part of a road tour in March or April.

Several citizens were given proclamations for their services on the Public Safety Committee, the Arts Council, the Greenway Committee, and the Friendship Center.

Under Old Business, the Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 12-08 adopting a Recreation and Parks Plan which increases the fee in lieu of land for parks and revises some definitions of units so that the Plan supports the Township’s SALDO Plan.

The Supervisors voted unanimously to approve an agreement with the AFSCME Public Works Collective Bargaining Unit which will run through 12/16.

Under New Business, the Supervisors unanimously approved Ordinance 12-01 authorizing the issuance of a Tax Anticipation Note in the amount of 2.3 million dollars at the existing rate of 2.1%. The term of this note should be about four months.

The Supervisors voted 5-0 to approve Change Order # 1 to the contract for the abatement of nuisances at 1061 Wooded Pond Drive. This action increases the contract by $8,077.00 to a total of $31,862.00 because of excessive mold and decay found on the property.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 12-07 amending the composition of the Greenway Committee.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 12-09 amending the composition of the Village of Linglestown Committee.

Chairman Hawk made appointments to various boards and committees.

Under Subdivision and Land Development, the Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 12-06, the Planning Module for Kings Point.

February 16, 2012


Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Boundaries for Village District At last month’s meeting the committee reviewed the zoning map which shows the current boundaries of the Village zoning district encompassing most of what would currently be considered historic Linglestown. At this meeting it was noted that the purpose for the creation of this zoning district was to try to preserve the unique village character of the town in future years. The geographical limits of the district had been selected to best identify the commercial and original residential areas of the village. The committee recognized a few locations where minor adjustments could be made to the map, which had been created in 2009, but agreed that it was probably unnecessary to try to make any changes at this time.

Committee Responsibilities The committee’s main effort over the years has been to deal with the major highway reconstruction project throughout the village. During that time the committee addressed many other related and unrelated matters. Now that the project is over and the committee is not expecting to be in existence for more than two or three years longer it is looking to shed some of its responsibilities to the many competent existing village organizations. Under the umbrella of the Linglestown Area Community Association (LACA) these include The Civic Association, the Women’s Club, The Merchants Association and the Garden Club.

One item they plan to work on immediately is new permanent signage identifying the Village of Linglestown to be located at the entrances to the village from each direction on Linglestown Road and from northbound on Mountain Road. Committee chairman Eric Kessler will prepare a drawing showing the type and size of the signs being recommended and identifying their suggested specific locations. It will then be submitted to the supervisors and if they approve it then the committee will ask the township to forward the plan to Penndot for their approval. At that point the committee will address the issue of fundraising.

Zoning Ordinance At the next meeting the committee will review the details of the zoning ordinance regarding the Village district. Section 318 of the Zoning Ordinance covers all of the specific requirements of this unique district. Some requirements such as the sign ordinance affect the merchants and some may affect building upgrades or replacements. Also the condition and appearance of some of the buildings in the village will be discussed.

Chocolate Walk It was reported that the recent event sponsored by the Merchants Association was a huge success. Even with marginal weather the attendance far exceeded expectations and some of the merchants ran out of sale items and handouts. The success of the event speaks well for the association’s efforts. Their spring event is scheduled for Saturday, May 5th.

February 21, 2012


(6:00 PM – 7:30 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

The Supervisors were in general agreement regarding the issuance of debt for identified capital projects. This would primarily cover storm water infrastructure repair resulting from the three storms in 2011. This borrowing would be less than two million dollars ($2,000,000.00). The total amount required over the next years would be $3,535,000.00. The debt level is expected to stay level until 2013. At this time a slight increase in the debt payment of $10,000.00/year is expected.

The Supervisors were in general agreement with regard to proposed changes to administrative employee benefits. These changes will mirror those changes agreed to in the AFSCME settlement.

February 21, 2012


(7:30 PM – 8:10 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Under the Managers Report, Mr. Wolfe reminded everyone that the Lower Paxton Township Easter “Extravaganza” will take place at Brightbill Park on Saturday, March 31st at 1:00 pm.

Also, the Citizens Police Academy will start on March 6th.

Under New Business, the Supervisors unanimously approved the low bid of $4,843,000.00 by Ronca and Sons for sanitary sewer replacement in the PC2C and PC2D mini-basins. Comment: It was interesting to note that 14 bids were received, and the six low bids were within 1% of each other.

The Supervisors unanimously approved the low bid of D. L. Reims Association in the amount of $5,990.00 for land survey services as a precursor to modeling the Swatara Township Authority Joint Use Interceptor.

Under Subdivision and Land Development, the Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 12-03 accepting portions of Kensington Way in the Estate of Forest Hills.

February 23, 2012


Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Kermit & Irene Meck – Docket #1307 This variance request is to be allowed to build a carport on the north side of their house located at 505 California Avenue in the R-2 Medium Density Residential District. The minimum side yard setback requirement is 5 feet and the new carport would create a setback of only 2 feet. The houses in this neighborhood were built before the zoning ordinance was enacted and many do not comply with the setback requirements. Neighbors supported this request and it was approved.

Classic Communities – Docket #1308 This request relates to the proposed placement of a house on Lot 103 on Laura Lane in the Quail Hollow development off Crums Mill Road. The lot is narrow in the front and wider toward the back and the approved subdivision plan shows the house set back 45 feet in order to meet the side yard setback requirements. The couple who wish to build their house on the lot want the house to have only a 30 foot front yard setback to give them a decent rear yard for their children since the very rear of the property is unusable wetland. To do this the one side yard setback can only be 11.7 feet instead of the 15 feet required.

This was considered acceptable and the variance request was approved. Since this will change the front yard setback from that shown on the subdivision plan as originally approved by the supervisors they will now need to formally approve this change before a building permit can be issued.

Meadows Mini Golf – Docket #1309 This variance request involves the development of a miniature golf course and batting cage facility on the rear portion of the property at 4636 Jonestown Road behind the Meadows Frozen Custard shop and extending to the west to Care Street. The L shaped property totals a little over 2 acres and is zoned CG Commercial General. The request is for a variance from the minimum 75 foot setback requirements from the proposed parking area and 150 feet from the recreational areas to the existing residential buildings.

The plan was to have the facility open until 11 pm during the warm weather months. Concerns were raised about noise and lights from the facility bothering the several nearby residents. The main concern was the noise from the batting cages and it was explained that the balls would be rubber and the cages plastic mesh instead of chain link to minimize noise. The board approved the variance request with the conditions that while the golf facility could be open until 11:00 the batting cages would close at 9:30 and that the north and west sides of the batting cages be covered with opaque material to control the light.

February 28, 2012


(6:10 PM – 6:25 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

The Lower Paxton Authority was elected as follows for 2012:

Chairman – Bill Hawk

Vice Chairman – Bill Seeds

Secretary – Gary Crissman

Asst. Secretary – David Blain

Treasurer – Bill Hornung

Solicitor – Steve Stine

Authority Engineer – CET

February 28, 2012


(6:25 PM – 8:50 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Under New Business, the Authority members unanimously approved Resolution 12-01 authorizing condemnation proceedings for a property in the Spring Creek 1F (SC1F) Mini

Basin. This is the property known as Oak Park Circle with 14 owners.

The Authority members unanimously approved Change Order #2 for the PC3B/PCIA contract. The contractor’s original price of $79,000.00 was negotiated down to $51,000.00 by CET Engineers. This order was primarily for trench collapses on these projects.

The Authority members unanimously approved a time extension for the contract for PC4B/6C on Change Order #6. There is no increase in cost.

The Authority members unanimously approved Change Order #5 for the ARA-A contract for a time extension. There is no cost increase.

The Authority members unanimously approved Draft Resolution 12-02 authorizing reimbursement to property owners for replacement of private sewers within selected mini basins. This more clearly defines parameters under which residents may request reimbursement. It also establishes a time frame for the request.

The Authority members unanimously approved Resolution 12-03 authorizing the destruction of specific records.

Under Township Reports: The primary concerns appeared to be spending the entire amount of the initial sewer bond issue within the mandated time frame.

There was a discussion of the final change order for the Swatara Treatment Plant Upgrade in the amount of $447,000.00 and the Townships share of the cost of the flood damage to said plant in the amount of $570,000.00. This amount should eventually be reimbursed by FEMA.